tv U.S. Senate Sen. Dick Durbin D-IL Remembers President George H.W. Bush CSPAN December 8, 2018 4:24pm-4:36pm EST
to him that was a blessing. he also believes that he was going to see his daughter robin who they lost way too soon. that was a blessing. as we mourn his death, we can that hefort in knowing has been returned to those beloved family members. and i send our condolences to the entire bush family and to his many close friends. truly great of this american life, this guiding light, let us honor his legacy by following his example of patriotism, public service, and vility.ty -- ci several years ago, after
robin passed away from leukemia, he wrote to his mother about how much he loved and missed his little girl. it is a beautiful, almost heartbreaking letter. he wrote about his doctors continued presence in his life. he said we cannot touch her and yet we feel her. president bush himself has now passed beyond our reach. and yet we all feel the difference he made in the nation and the world. deepof us feel that longing for that kinder, gentler nation that president bush promised in his inaugural address 30 years ago. george herbert walker bush was an american patriot who devoted his life to his family and his country. his 18th birthday, six months after pearl harbor, he enlisted in the navy and became one of
the youngest of aviators in the history of the navy. he was discharged one month after japan surrendered. but he never stopped serving america. entitled to fly boys which tells the story of the squadron that he was part of. and the deadly mission they were given in the south pacific. he flew some 58 missions as a navy pilot. in this particular assignment, he was shot down in two of his crew were killed. fortunately, for us and for him, he was rescued by a summary -- submarine. there is a grainy black and white found of him being fished out of the ocean by an american saved. and and his life
as a president and father of a president, he was the linchpin of a political dynasty that spanned four generations. he already had a lifetime of public service before he became president as a texas congressman, ambassador to the united nations, envoy to china, head of the cia, and vice president. he was a man of remarkable humility. a littlentax sounded choppy at time, and dana carvey impersonating him, it was because george bush had trouble using the words i and me. his mother had told him that those were the words of braggarts. said of a cheering crowd, they are not clapping for me, they are clapping for the office of the president.
that is exactly how he thought it should be. i was still a relatively new congressman when he was president. i certainly do not agree with his policies. but that is a. discussion for another time as his life shows us, there is a time for politics and there is a time to put politics aside. president reagan helped hurry the end of the cold war. but it felt to bush to successfully navigate the aftermath. inn the berlin wall fell 1989, he insisted there would be no gloating. no triumphalism from his administration. his low-key approach set the tone for our natal -- nato allies. such such a heavily
armed empire ended with such little bloodshed or turmoil. bush and gorbachev successfully negotiated the start nuclear treaty. he saw the largest reduction in nuclear arms in history. if you treaty look at the statesmen and states to -- andpected states women expected to attend his memorial service. them, mikhail gorbachev, and german chancellor angela grew up in communist east germany. it is said that the germans today credit george herbert walker bush more than any other person for their successful reunification. he knew that america was stronger when we work with partners than when we imagine that we can somehow go it alone.
iraqi troops invaded, george herbert walker bush assembled a coalition to push them back. mark on domestic policy as well. he signed the americans with disabilities act, one of the greatest civil rights laws in our nation's modern history. a committedsh was conservative and a texan by choice. ties to the oil industry. but he believed in science. what a welcome change that would be in washington today. if his party felt the same. president george herbert walker bush understood that poisoning our planet is not just unfair to generations, it's bad for business. it's bad for our economy. build bipartisan support. this republican president helped build bipartisan support and signed the clean air act of
1990. strengthening the federal government's role in protecting the very air we breathe. global change research act of 1990, establishing an inner agency council to improve understanding of global change and to devise a plan to reduce climate catastrophe. what a sharp contrast to the current administration! george herbert walker bush was's work was the work of a leader. between 1980 and 1990, america's deficit tripled to $220 theion, driven largely by reagan-era tax cuts. in 1990, with a lot of criticism, president bush had the courage to sign a tax increase, as president reagan had before him, to help pay down the deficit for future generations. he put the interests of future of his own ahead short-term political advantage and he paid a heavy price in the
next election. he maybe even lost because of it. years later, he received a in courage award for that leadership. address,augural president bush said that the real strength and greatness in america came from thousand light.of the countless acts of decency compassion we showed to those in need. in his post-presidential year, advocate forn volunteerism, community and national service. he was active in domestic and global humanitarian activities, often alongside former president an old political opponent turned ally. in 1995, after a domestic bombed the federal building in oklahoma city, injuring 680eople, more, the national rifle asociation sent out fundraising letter denouncing bureaueral agents of the of alcohol, tobacco and firearms
quote thugs. former president george herbert walker bush reacted with anger. denounced that vitriol by the n.r.a. as, quote, a vicious slander on good people e end of quote. he publicly resigned his n.r.a. lifetime membership. like john mccain and others who have experienced personally the terror of war, george herbert walker bush did not confuse politics with war. did not mistake political opponents for enemies. understood that people can have differences of opinion and both still love the country. our sadness at losing him seems a reflection for our own deep, deep yearning as a nation today for the kind of leadership character and integrity and honesty and courage that he brought to the office of presidency. address,rst inaugural
president lincoln pleaded with the nation on the knife's edge of war. not enemies but friends. we must not be enemies. be guided by us to the better angels of our nature. address,n inaugural president george herbert walker bush also spoke of all americans friends. let me read two short sections of his remarks. us, we are he told not the sum of our possessions. they are not the measure of our lives. in our hearts, we know what matters. we cannot hope only to leave our car, a biggerger bank account. we must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a friend, a loving parent, a citizen who leaves his home, and town better than he found it. what do we want the men and women who work with us to say when we're no longer here? that we were more driven to than anyone around us? or that we stopped to ask if a
sick child had gotten better and stayed a moment there to trade a friendship. president george bush went on to say, america is never wholly herself unless she's engaged in high moral principle. a people have such a purpose t today. ofis to make kinder the face the nation and gentler the face of the world. my friends, he said, we have work to do. as a tribute to george herbert bush, who lies in state in the rotunda of the united 32nd personol, the to be so honored in our history, remember we are not enemies but friends. and may we summon the courage, the wisdom and the humidity to put the interests of our nation and our world ahead of self-interest. closing, my wife, lohr lorettad deep condolences to